Microsoft brings Windows Azure, Office 365 to China

The services will be offered through the Shanghai data center of a Chinese company

Microsoft said Thursday it would bring its Office 365 and Windows Azure to China as part of the company's strategy to expand its cloud services to enterprise customers in the country.

Both Office 365 and Windows Azure will be offered through Beijing-based 21Vianet, according to a company blog post. Microsoft has signed an agreement to license the technologies to the Internet data center service provider.

The services will be hosted in a 21Vianet data center in Shanghai, making it subject to Chinese laws. But Chinese customers can also use Office 365 and Windows Azure directly from Microsoft through its data centers in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Microsoft also said the Shanghai government would adopt both Office 365 and Windows Azure services from 21Vianet.

The U.S. company has made the announcement after it said in September that it was expanding in China, with new hires and more investment in research. Office 365, which offers online access to Microsoft Office products, and Windows Azure, a platform to develop and deploy applications, are two major products the company is aiming to promote with its new expansion in the country.

China is increasingly becoming a vital market for tech companies, because of its 538 million Internet users and its ranking as the world's largest market for PC and smartphone shipments. Microsoft, for years, has tried to tap into this market, but has faced obstacles on account of the country's rampant software piracy, where bootleg copies of Microsoft Office can be easily found in street markets.

A move by business users to Internet-based cloud services could help Microsoft maneuver around China's piracy problem. Both Office 365 and Windows Azures work as online services that charge monthly subscription fees. Last week, Microsoft also said it would not sell physical boxes of Windows 8 in China, and will instead only sell the software through online downloads and pre-installs on new devices.

Thursday's announcement also comes as Microsoft has seen growing progress in Chinese government offices using licensed version of its software. Earlier this year, authorities said they had spent US$160 million to buy licensed software products for its central and provincial government offices. Much of that software was from foreign vendors.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags servicesGovernment use of ITdistributionMicrosoftsoftwaregovernment

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?